Founded by head-honcho Elsta, and now run in partnership with label favourite Bass Antics, Murky Digital are one of the south coast’s premier drum & bass outlets, providing stone cold, rupturing beats and show-stopping events out of their thriving hometown of Portsmouth. Starting off as a jump up label and gradually evolving into the eclectic, diverse collective on show today, Murky have continuously delivered an all-encompassing stew of 174 savagery to the masses, with notable efforts from scene stalwarts T>I, Agro, Euphonique, Saxxon, Bou and Vital, combined with diamond-like nuskool gems in Conrad Subs, Guzi, Operate, Leaf and Filthy Habits. With a close, familial vibe and some of the best in gritty sonic warfare, Murky Digital continue to deliver some of the finest DnB the UK has to offer.
Review: Portsmouth-based label Murky Digital returns with another collection of moody, dark, rolling and steppy drum & bass and jungle, curated by label chief founder Elsta. Highlights include: DJ Direkt's subterranean roller "Claret", Yatuza getting mental on the neurofunk trip of "Seeing Things", the ever reliable Conrad Subs steppin' out into the darkside on "Sketchy", while more expansive UK flava comes in the form of Guzi & Agro's grime crossover "The Dirty South" (Guzi remix) and with names like Malicious & Bass Antics you'd surely be in good hands right? Their offering "Talk & Chat" ticks all the boxes.
Review: Fresh from his whistle-stop tour of Japan on Subway Soundz EP earlier this month, Tomoyoshi continues to slap and tickle us in all the right ways with this new collection on Murky. Flexing across his range with a really natural sense of groovemanship and a flow that's so laid back but heavy, highlights include the warm soul sample on 'Raw-Fi', the sleazy, creepy funk of 'Voodoo' and the purring, slinky-assed bassline on the concluding track 'Waves'. If this is the dark world then keep the lights off, we're staying.
Review: Murky welcome rising newcomer Dysfunction to the label with this sleek and savage set of five... Heads down, bassline business, stripped back but still rich in gully goodness, each cut complements each other. 'Proximity' is pure turbine bassline blow-out with added war cries while, 'The Funk' is a big belly bouncer with wobblier subs than your mum, 'Beside Self' is the slinky, stinky creeper while 'Concrete Junglist' takes us for a brisk trip down a metallic tunnel. Finally 'Nightmare' closes on a much starker, darker tip as the bassline goes up a few octaves and activates sizzle mode. A great finale to a nicely consistent and stylised EP. Looking forward to hearing more from Dysfunction.
Review: The man, the monster, the machine: Conrad Subs returns to his good pals Murky with this feisty fiver tracker. As always with the Ipswich heavyweight, the vibes flex with fury across the board. Peaktimers will be all over the icy stabs and riffy energy of 'For So Long' and the Fraser-fronted aggy blaster 'Movement'. Those looking for woozier sensations will enjoy the likes of 'Swish' and the pure grit and twistedness of 'In Your Arms. Meanwhile people looking to absolutely flatten folk should jump straight on the ridiculous slices of 'Cluster'. We've been waiting for sounds like these 'For So Long'.
Review: He's back! Mr Alf-E doesn't release a huge amount, but when he does it's always essential checking as he leaves no holds unbarred. Each of these four tracks provides a firing example. 'Pulling A Gun On Me' bumps and bubbles with a timeless wobbly flavour, 'What's A Rock N Rolla' hits with huge levels of crunch as the bassline hits with Mampi levels of heaviness and 'The Grand Dictator' provides a skippier, trippier take on Alf-E's dancefloor sound. 'One Night In Essex' closes the EP with a little old school ravey twist. The only way is Alf-E.
Review: Biological Beats mainstay and LionDub International high roller Flat T arrives on Murky Digital with a little slice of everything. At six tracks large and extensively deep, the artist doesn't shy away from a bit of snarling bass in "Everything I Taught You" and heavy riffs in "Nooks & Crannies". Stripping it back a little more with some added percussion in "Now Inside" next to some stand out snares in "Fill Me In" - the stand out track here is no question "Shuttle". A number that takes in Flat T's entire sound-world that's full of tempo, edgy liquid rhythms and falling atmospheres. Blast off.
Review: Murky Digital do one thing, and that's pump out absolutely wild cuts of destructive D&B. That's their sole mission and, not for the first time, they've roped in Yatuza to help them accomplish it, a producer who is more than familiar with the peculiarities of dancefloor pressure and twisted sonics. 'Other Realm' is arguably the best cut on the EP, with absolutely wicked drums undergirding a Bredren-esque display of dragged-out bass wizardry and gurgling force - the back-end on this track doesn't take any prisoners. The other tunes are trademark Murky, with the punching stabs of 'Rolloz' and the stepping aggressiveness of 'Dark Wax'. Big stuff.
Review: DJ Direkt has built up a name for himself as someone who never fails to bring out the big guns with his music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. His newest EP on Murky Digital is no different and it kicks off with 'Claret', a Serum-esque roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Krome' is equally as rough but less rolling and more fragmented, its structure and nature constantly changes and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The last track of this EP - 'Net' - is absolute vibes, too. Big ups the Murky Digital crew.
Review: Conrad Subs is on Murky Digital with a fiery four-tracker designed very much for the dancefloor. It's one of those singles that you can tell was made with a good time in mind, music that's goal is to bring happiness to a room full of people. 'Dark Sets In' is the first and it's also the fattest, with a giant, stabby bassline that launches out of the blocks with serious energy. 'Expansion' is glitchier and techier, its wobbling synths are full of momentum and the whole track just feels like it's on steroids. One of the bassface crew.
Review: Last spotted on Murky telling us to 'Prepare For Take Off', Jaxx is now back on the label and fully out of orbit with this rocket-powered five track attack. All wriggly and highly filthed, Jaxx's sound continues to hit the funkiest spots between jump-up and minimal; there's a nice whiff of Die to the title track 'Weight Off Your Shoulders', 'Be Strong' balances a sweet vocal element with a buzzsaw bassline while Dub General features on the tense, growling behemoth that is 'Got You Here', 'Nice One Mate' is a low-swinging grumbler with cheeky jazzy flourishes before 'TJA Bro' closes the EP on a grizzly early 2000s Full Cycle style message. The Jaxx Action!
Review: Amplify is a name we're becoming more familiar with and they've come out with a properly good collection of tracks here, tunes with an urban-edged spin on modern D&B and jungle. They're tunes which you can imagine hearing out your mates' car, and that's a very good thing. 'Out of Me' is a rolling number and it's one with a wicked choppy bass and a satisfying sense of sparseness in the drums, a pulsating yet expansive cut that'd go down well just about anywhere. 'Miracle' is the proper dark stuff, the broken drum stutters and eerie sampling giving it that vibe that only this music can impart. Wicked selection.
Review: Murky Digital are a regular here on Juno and for good reason, their proclivity for steadily releasing rough but energetic, whole-hearted cuts is strong and their small size doesn't prevent the release of top-quality music. The title track is the strongest on the release, with a Sofa Sound-esque feel to its cracking percussion and a torn, broken back end that rips across the range with style. The other four cuts go down an equally rolling, stripped back route and, if you like the tougher side of things, this is the release for you.
Review: Damageman lands on Murky Digital with a dancefloof focused journey through D&B's rougher side. Murky Digital don't have a reputation for being a label that'll hold your hand and this is clearly evident throughout Revenge, none more so than on the title track. With a barebones, stripped back approach that's reminiscent of Digital or Spirit, Damageman combines old-school sampling with a distinct rawness to emphasise the track's low-frequency weight. This style is replicated across the other tunes to varying degrees but there's one constant: unadulterated sounds with the aim of serious dancefloor pressure. If that's your thing, then this EP is certainly for you.
Review: Over on Murky Digital, Masker is banging out the badness with a brand new single that features MC heat on both cuts courtesy of Jimmy Danger and Indigo. It's a typically moody release from the label and the producer, who have a track record of this kind of thing, and 'Dark Statement' rests above gully, pitched down drums that beef up the bigness and provide a solid basis on which it's stabby basses can roar through the spaces. Indigo puts in a wicked performance on 'At Midnight', as its inch-perfect drums inch out with devilish precision, the perfect accompaniment to a bassline that's like an elbow in the face - but in a good way. Top notch.
Review: Both Agro and Murky Digital share a common passion for making club-ready drum & bass and this five-tracker from the producer, featuring Guzi on a remix, is a no-holds barred display of why they're such a potent combo. The grime-influenced synths and halftime vibes of 'The Dirty South' make it an ideal title track, a gully u rban-edged track with serious crossover potential. 'Presence' is the other highlight, a down and dirty roller with a rough, mid-2000s vibe that takes this EP in an industrial direction but one that's also cut through with a jump-up aesthetic. Seriously cool.
Review: Hasta la vista m8; Fresh from announcing his debut album on Low Down Deep, Vital steps over to Murky with one of his biggest releases so far: "Termin8". Heavier than liquid metal poly alloy, moodier than learning your foster parents are dead, each cut here rattles with Vital's signature foreboding funk. Highlights include the stern tones and minimal meanness of "Disrespect", the big humming turbine sub blasts on the title track "Termin8" and the sci-fi tension and sudden dramatic blasts on "Scared To Look". He'll be back...
Review: Murky Digital are a label who do what their name might suggest in that they release digital murkiness on a regular basis. No Escape is an EP from Euphonique that brings together MC Frost, Guzi & Madrush MC and Saxxon, all of whom have helped contribute to dastardly naughty tracks. 'Switch' is up there with the best of them and it's all about that bassline, an almost foghorn of groaning, fiery proportions which rattles its way through the arrangement. MC Frost also impresses on 'No Escape, a sub-heavy roller which will please the more minimalistic heads amongst you. Banging stuff.
Review: Murky Digital don't tend to put out music that's weak, thin or otherwise not suitable for the dancefloor. Jaxx's Prepare For Take Off EP is a testament to that, all five cuts do some serious damage and the release overall is certainly on the sharper end of the spectrum. 'Take Off' is the best of the bunch and it's got a rough, Sofa Sound edge that injects a satisfying level of oomph into the arrangement, there's a serious vibrancy in the bass-drums relationship and it's a pleasure to listen to. 'Stacks' is a close second and its incredibly unique concoction of swirling basses and gargling pulsars adds a wicked futuristic element, all of it underpinned by a creative, stepping percussive line. There's a wicked variety here and everything feels accurate and well-placed - well played to the Murky Digital crew.
Leaf - "Dup Up The Dance" (BassBrothers remix) - (4:06) 175 BPM
Saxxon - "Long Haul" - (4:48) 175 BPM
NiteRider - "River Monster" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Fena - "Audible" - (4:34) 172 BPM
Meladee - "Connoisseur" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: Niterider, Saxxon and more are landing on Murky Digital with the Wolf Man EP and, as you can probably tell from the name of the label it's coming out on, it's a seriously murky bit of work. This is obvious from the first tune, a BassBrothers remix of Leaf's 'Dup Up The Dance', which expands hugely down into the back end with penetrating force, swaying and moving as it goes. The rest of the release is powered by the same relentlessness and 'Long Haul'' carries an expansive back end that undergirds a sequence of menacing sampling, whilst 'Audible' possibly has the most creative bassline on the release in a wicked display of dancefloor heat. Sick stuff.
Review: Murky Digital are a label who do what their name might suggest in that they release digital murkiness on a regular basis. Black Lagoon is a various artists release that brings together Jaxx, Euphonique, Vital, Damageman and Tarz, all of whom have contributed dastardly naughty tracks. Vital's 'Bank Robbers' is up there with the best of them and it's all about that bassline, a foghorn of groaning, fiery proportions which rattles its way through the arrangement. Damageman also impresses with 'Low Signal', a sub-heavy roller which will please the more minimalistic heads amongst you. Banging stuff.
Review: This is an absolutely wicked release. You know those EPs which perfectly tread the line between playfulness and gullyness? This is one of them, a release which is a breath of fresh air whilst still managing to pack a recognisable punch. The title tune is our favourite, with a lusciously funky main piano line that stretches out over the drums, intermingling with the vocal sample and resting above the bassline in purely satisfying fashion. 'Bend Back' takes things in a harder direction, with stuttering jungle stammers and a wonky bassline that wobbles around like a pig in mud. Banging bit of work, this.
Review: Vital is back in your line of sight this week with this stinker of an EP, one that slots right into the foghorn trend taking the scene by storm at the moment, so if you're into your gully rollers this will be an EP for you. It's five tracks long and every single one of them slaps, with a no holds barred approach to creating grating basses and skipping drums lines that are tailor made for the dance. The title track is the perfect example, with its sparse percussive underpinning and wavey, jagged collection of basses. Top stuff.
Review: T>I has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years, he's put out two sick EPs on scene-leading label Critical Music and you can tell from listening to his music that his sound is being constantly refined. For this single on Murky digital he steps up with one original and one remix, and the it's the former of these two that is the highlight for us. 'Fine Balance' is just that - finely balanced. There's a tangible synergy between the bouncing yet penetrating drum line and the pulsating, subby back end that pushes down on the range with devastating monotony. T>I is a top producer - just check out the evidence.
Review: Konz has absolutely smashed this one. Brand new on Murky Digital, Paper Man is a minimal collection of forceful tones and subby wobbles, each track has this funky, stepping feel to it and there are some seriously dirty bass touches. 'Blinded' is exactly that, with a jungley but excessively clean drum line, this track just rolls out and out with a wicked progression that takes you on a tour through futuristic, grating soundscapes. DJ Hybrid also lands on the remix for 'Paper Man', which he hasn't changed much except to ground even further into a solid bed of sine waves and snapping snare cracks.
Review: Niterider is landing on Murky Digital with his Dub Elevator EP and, as you can probably tell from the name of the label it's coming out on, it's a seriously murky bit of work. You wouldn't think that from the start of the title track though, which leads you in with a luscious bit of elevator music but that quickly devolves into a pummelling expression of force. The rest of the release is powered by the same relentlessness and 'Killa's' carries an expansive back end that undergirds a sequence of menacing hip-hop sampling, whilst 'The Wob' possibly has the most creative bassline on the release in a wicked display of dancefloor heat. Sick stuff.
Review: Vital really isn't messing around! Two weeks have passed since his debut album and already Vital is back on the strong stuff. Five tracks of pure bass grizzle, he ain't letting up. The title track busses up amen slurs on the breaks, a farted-out b-line riff and classic house stabs on the riff, "Wanted" revs like a Dodge Tomahawk and don't be fooled by the title of "Barbed Wire", it's actually flabbier than your dearest relative. Wrapping up we have the foggy thuggy moans and tones of "No Stopping" and the toxic jungle slammed climax "Staring At The Speaker". Vital? Mental more like... These kick serious jacksy.
Review: Make like a tree and Leaf: one of the most innovative artists to breakthrough in recent years, Leaf's left-of-centre, gutter-chomping textures and twisted dynamics have become a staple of the more underground side of D&B and a buy-on-sight situation. This EP is no exception; the distorted tubular grunt of "Glitch", the twisted strings and gammon sample in the breakdown of "Muck Meat", the offbeat harmonics and faraway soul of "Luv" and the freaky sci-fi stepper funk of "One Jah"... Each and every cut a stone cold singular thumper. Time to branch out.
Review: After the undeniable popularity of the first edition of Murky Digital's 'Turbid Transcendence' compilation, we were stoked to see that a second part was hitting the stores, and what a selection it is. We hear a range of rollers and minimal drums from start to finish, including Bass Antics and Nino's sub heavy 'DAT TUNE' and the high calibre creeping collaboration 'What Do You Know' between Filthy Antics and Jeopardize. For us the additional highlights have to be the explosive percussive rolls and grinding subs of Euphonique's 'Damage', along with the crispy drum processing of Tarz's 'Late Night' and Fena's volcanic 'The Lizard King' arrangement, complete with lethal bass growls and flavourful drum combos.
Review: Growing in volume, presence and prominence with every release, Murky up their game once more with the first part of their heavyweight V/A album Turbid Transcendence. Highlights rattle and smoulder from every corner; the almost ballad-like bass groans of Too Greezey's "Sequence", the hot-stepping jungle drum rolls of Raz & RV's "Shadows", the pure dungeon tones and pensive grit of Damageman & Craftamus's "Demons" and T>I's blubbery rubber subs on "Run Flats" are just some of the key points on this killer first chapter. And with eight more bruisers to come, this is only half of the album so far. Big.
Review: Elsta's Murky Digital look back over five years of uncompromised murk-mastery and handpick 15 of their favourite moments. A great way for us to fill any holes in our collection and a timely reminder of the label's timeless weight and sense of dark groove; highlights and power points rattle and slap from every corner. Key cuts include T>I's humungous subbed-out roller VIP of "The Gorgon", Zero's twisted orchestral cascades on "Corrupt Cop", Fena & Barbarix's urgent vocal-looping sizzler "Devoted" and Too Greezey's husky dusty dark jazz charm on "Take My Hand". Here's to the next five years.
Review: Usually when man hits road with a VIP it goes harder, right? Not in the case of this fugly roller from a true king among junglists T>I. Here he's taken the heavily supported and highly distinctive bassline of last year's banger "The Gorgon" and pressurised it into a much more physical sub bass sensation to subtle heads-down effect. The same can be said for his take on Damage Report's "Snooper" as he switches out the in-you-face weirdness of the OG bassline and teases us with the texture over a much more dense sub twist. Basically the bigger the systems you play this on, the better they sound.
Review: Greezey by name, successful producer by nature: this slick-haired south coast hero continues to demolish in every direction as he makes his EP debut on Elsta's Murky Digital. Four tracks in total, each one primed for different corners of the dance "Most Wanted" slaps down straight in the centre of jump and tech with a subtly twisted wobble on the bassline, "My Way" is the rumbler of the set with a groaning bassline that murmurs ominously beneath the surface while "Love Dem Style" takes a disco dodo and slaps it back into existence with a barbed soul focus. "Headache" closes the show on a deeper, slinkier flex with lilting keys, a tightly-coiled two-step and a stern message in the sample. Most wanted by name, essential by nature...
Review: Here's hoping you're ready to bounce because "Feel It" hasn't just been produced, it's been rubberised. With enough cranked up energy to power the central London, and bass that's cheeky enough to give the Playaz crowd a run for their money, Bass Antics are filling up dancefloors like no other. "Playback" takes things back to the old school in more ways than one, using '90s drum and bass techniquea against soundboy vocals and garage bass stylings, it's a proper mash-up. Get your head down and start skanking.